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Tire Tread May Have Caused Fatal I-85 Accident

A motorcyclist was killed after being struck by a tractor-trailer.

A Hoschton man was killed in a motorcycle accident which during Wednesday evening's rush hour. Investigators say a tire tread may have triggered the fatal accident.

Gwinnett County Police say 35-year-old Lonnie Cross was riding his motorcycle in the left lane near the 85/985 split in unincorporated Buford. Investigators say another vehicle had hit a tire tread ahead of Cross, causing the tread to go airborne and strike the rider. Cross then lost control of his motorcycle, which fell down to the ground across the roadway.

Cross slid from the bike into the center lane of highway 85, right in the path of a tractor-trailer. The truck driver was unable to stop in time and ran over Cross.

The victim was taken to where he later died from his injuries.

Police shut down all lanes on I-85 North near the split to conduct the investigation. Traffic was diverted to 985 North during this time.

There are no charges pending at this time. The investigation is ongoing.

chuck September 15, 2011 at 09:04 PM
why does the DOT not ban retreads!!!!!!!!!!
Mark Pierce September 16, 2011 at 02:30 AM
Chuck, I agree.. Lonnie was the kindest man you could ever meet. He was a great father and husband to his family. Retreads are all over I-85!
Jamie September 16, 2011 at 11:31 AM
It was definitely the flying tread that caused the accident - no "may have" to it. It also looked to be a piece of tread from a large vehicle like a semi. I watched this accident happen in slow motion as I was the car next to the motorcycle and in front of the tractor trailer that hit Mr. Cross. It was the most disturbing sight I have ever witnessed and it the worst part is that it was avoidable. It will stay with me forever. Knowing how I feel, I can only imagine how the person in front of him who hit the tread and the driver of the tractor trailer must feel. My thoughts and prayers go out to all affected.
Catherine Higgins September 16, 2011 at 05:12 PM
We need to stop retreads immediately!!!! Lonnie Cross was my nephew and was trying to get home to his wife and children, 5 and 9 yrs old! He dearly adored them and it is so very tragic having something like this happen to anyone, much less in my family! My prayers are with the family and with those involved,also. Let's ban retreads- they cause unnecessary accidents!!!! How unfair! Thanks Catherine Higgins
Msgoff September 21, 2011 at 03:54 AM
Why is GA so far behind other states in so many areas. I have lived in other states and had never seen anything like this. I have actually hit a couple and it scared the daylight out-of-me. I do no like talking on the phone while driving, let alone trying to dial 911 to report treads in the lane on major highways; several times on I-85. I have actually had to tell the 911 operator, after giving all necessary info re location of treads, etc., that I have to get off the phone because I am on a high speed highway, which I said as soon as I started the conversation. This is pure negligence on the part of DOT and the state; that's who should be charged. All you ever hear on the news about anything is "charges" So quick to blame (bring charges) rather than seriously work to prevent some of these accidents. An SUV hit a baby in a stroller; so sad. How many times have I been backing slowly and cautiously out-of-a-parking space at a store, looking side-to-side, and someone walks right behind my car and I slam on the brakes in time, heart racing. The other scenario is someone is driving down the lane, yet they see that I am backing out, & I can't see them especially if there is a large SUV on one or both sides, and they just keep driving. Again, I have to slam on brakes, heart beating rapidly, and think, "What an idiot." My sincere condolences to the family of Lonnie Cross.

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